This is the composition that I shared today.

This is the composition that I shared today.

Figures in the Dusk 01 This is the cropped version as suggested by some in the critique.

I participated in a Redwood Camera Club critique this morning. This image is one that I shared. It was well received, and there was some discussion about the rock on the very left edge, and the amount of sky. I cropped the image as shown in the second version.

I would appreciate any feedback that you may offer. Thanks


About Thomas Bethune

THOMAS ALLEN BETHUNE I have been interested in photography for most of my life. I started taking photographs with a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera when I was eight years old. My early subjects were trains and engineered structures as well as landscapes and family portraits. My interests and vision have matured, but the subjects that catch my eye continue to be of the same genre as my earliest visions. A neighbor man had a darkroom, and he showed me the basics of camera operation and darkroom processing. I took courses in art and photography in high school and college. I worked as an apprentice to a commercial wedding and event photographer, and I was in charge of a recreational dark room while I was in the military. As an adult, I earned a bachelor’s degree in photography from Humboldt State University. My experience with film formats included 35mm, 2 ¼”, and 4”x 5”. I exhibited at galleries near my home in Arcata California, and in Santa Fe New Mexico. All my current work is digital. I am scanning many of my legacy negatives and slides. I sometimes process and print the scanned negatives. I often post them on my blog. I process all of my prints with archival media. An award winning fine art photographer living in a redwood forest. BA Photography Director, Redwood Art Association, Eureka CA Co-curator, F Street Foto Gallery, Eureka CA
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  1. Photographer says:

    I think a lot about the cropping of an image. When I’m shooting, I plan and include a little extra at times, but mostly try to get the composition right at that moment, so I don’t lose real estate later. With this photograph, I can see that some might think the darkness near the bottom left would pull the eye … we hear this “complaint” often. But I’m thinking recently about whether I need a photograph to only tell one story, or whether I’m enough of a viewer to read multiple stories from a single image. Of course, maybe that is the point and cropping is just editing out what is not “on theme” — but that dark hole IS part of the theme, especially because this is a natural scene. So … I don’t know. I like both versions, but I dislike having a choice. If the quality of the image is good, as yours are, I think more is more.

  2. I actually prefer the original version. I think the little hint of more rocks behind the big rock works.
    The dark spot on the rock at the bottom tells that more rocks are casting shadows.

  3. janets123 says:

    I much prefer the original. I am not a photographer of any merit but I do appreciate art. And I have an opinion about everything. 😉 I like the big sky; it’s part of the feeling of the desert. And I like the distance for the same reason. I prefer asymmetry, which your original sports. If I were to make any change at all, I might crop (and I’m not saying you should) just the teeniest bit off the right to make sure the participants didn’t think I intended to get the big pointed rock in the center, to make certain my asymmetry was seen as intentional. That’s all. If this were my photo, I’d matt it and frame it, display it in my writing room and make sure everyone knew it was there.

  4. nixonphoto says:

    I like your photo. I’m going to be contrarian. I like the cropped version better. There’s a funny triangle in the bottom left corner that I don’t like – the cropped version has a cleaner line into the image from the left corner. Also the little bit of rock halfway up on the left hand side of the frame is distracting.

    But – at the end of the day you have to go with what you like. Who cares what the critics think?

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